Everything but Research
So much has happened this quarter that itâ€™s now difficult to recall specifics, but knowing all too well that it only gets more difficult with time Iâ€™ll try to recall some of the more awesome events. Early in the quarter the computer science department hosted an industry related event. One of the cool talks was by Googleâ€™s director of research, Peter Norvig. The annual Computer Science Fall Kickoff Barbeque followed the event in which Christo and I made it to the final three of the water balloon toss. While this alone would be no spectacular feat, we performed trick throws the entire time, with Christo throwing under the leg, and myself performing the scorpion toss. Unfortunately one of Christoâ€™s under the leg tosses came up short, and we were defeated.
That same night we celebrated Adamâ€™s birthday by Pub Golfing in downtown Santa Barbara. Pub Golfing is an event where participants dress up as golfers and score plus or minus strokes at a list of bars. Since we arenâ€™t too crazy, we only did a 9 bar (hole) Pub Golf, which included penalties for PDA, water hazards, or bars at which people, couldnâ€™t pee, and sand traps, or being caught talking to a cougar. Bonuses were offered for drinking the hole specialty, downing a drink in a single attempt, buying drinks for others and drinking more than the 1 required drink per hole. No one was penalized for a water hazard, but Adam did get trapped in the sand when a cougar pounced. Fortunately he escaped from the cougarâ€™s paws before more penalties occurred. It was a glorious night.
The weekend following the previous events I decided it was time to properly network our apartment, so I took it upon myself to run wires between the rooms through the attic, as well as between the first and second floor. Wiring between the rooms was a piece of cake but getting between the first and second floor was a bit trickier. Iâ€™ll just say involved a coat hanger and some duct tape. With our house fully connected we can now stream movies or TV shows from any computer in the house down to our huge ass rear projection TV, which we got for $100 from our old neighbor.
As one of three co-chairs for the UCSB ACM club, I have organized and ran two events. The first was the Annual UCSB Programming Competition, which we use as a qualifying round for the Southern California Regional Competition. This year, sixteen students competed in the competition, which greatly surpasses the turnout from years past. The top 9 willing participants went on to compete in the regional competition in Riverside this past weekend. This year was the first time in UCSB history that we were able to send three full teams to the competition. I consider this a success the department, the club, as well as for myself.
The second event I organized was an Install Ubuntu event in which anyone was welcome to drop in and install Ubuntu on their computer. In all, about ten people successfully installed Ubuntu on their laptops, with zero failures or data loss. I was impressed that the wireless adapters on all the laptops worked immediately after installation, which has been a problem with Linux in the past. One person had a problem with their computer randomly freezing after a period of usage. We unfortunately could not alleviate this issue. Despite the one problem, I feel this event was a huge success, and expect an even bigger turnout next year.
Excluding what has really been taking up the majority of my life for the last eight weeks this pretty much covers everything up until now. My next entry will really focus on the adventures of a Ph.D. student.